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Humans lose out as Denmark announces 2023 word of the year

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Humans lose out as Denmark announces 2023 word of the year
ChatGPT is Denmark's 2023 word of the year. Photo:Dado Ruvic/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The 2023 Danish word of the year has been announced and the impact of this year’s technological advances have clearly come to the fore.

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Several Danish words related to diverse areas were in the running for the 2023 word of the year, announced on Friday by the broadcaster DR P1’s radio programme Klog på Sprog and the Danish Language Board (Dansk Sprognævn).

These include Store Bededag (Great Prayer Day), the public holiday abolished this year by parliament; Irmapige in reference to the logo of shuttered Copenhagen supermarket Irma; klimakollaps (climate collapse) and iltsvind (oxygen depletion).

But the word considered to best described 2023 was ChatGPT, the name of the open source AI launched at the end of 2022 which heralded the popular use of AI for creating text and images.

DR and Dansk Sprognævn each announced the decision on their websites.

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Developed by the company OpenAI, generative AI ChatGPT can write songs, poems, school assignments, articles and solve complex tasks using enormous amounts of data.

The Danish Language Board collected nominations for this year’s award from DR listeners, it said. Jury members, who also nominated two words, chose the final winner.

ChatGPT was selected as the winner after a series of duels between jury members, who argued in turn against each other in favour of the nominated words.

The AI took the victory over fellow finalists koranafbrænding (Quran burning) and iltsvind.

Last year’s winner was Kyiv, marking the broad adoption of the Ukrainian spelling of the city’s name. In 2021, the winner was coronapas, the name of the Covid-19 health pass used at the time in Denmark.

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